*Re-reading this I am both struck by how we’re getting the same thing with Covid-19 and masks as we did with climate six years ago, and also by how the message in this is more urgent than ever. – SAH 2020*
The Future Must Belong to Those Who Question – a blast from the past from September 25, 2014
And even those who mock, joke and deride, particularly those who do so to an almost-universally held faith in their region/time/place. People must be free to hold dissenting opinions without risking death.
Why do I say that?
There was that climate march in NYC and people tried, by means of slogans and shouting to insist that we must all change the way we live; that we must go back to a way of life that would necessitate the demise of 80% of human population, in order to… stop the planet warming up.
This despite the fact that we have no idea how much the planet is really warming up or why (corrupt data, corrupt data-keeping, corrupt… everything – the result of science done to government specifications.), the fact that most of the world couldn’t care less what these marchers do and say and that the ecological disaster that is China will offset any sacrifices we attempt to make, and the fact that the celebrity marchers all produce enough carbon in a month to offset any reductions I could make in my lifestyle over a lifetime, even if I went to the loony point of living as we did in the village where I grew up: a lightbulb per room and early hours to bed; no labor saving devices; a radio as the only electrical form of entertainment, etc.
Let’s leave that aside for a moment though, and concentrate on the truly appalling spectacle of Robert Kennedy Jr. demanding that those who don’t agree with him about what is causing the climate problems (?) be put in jail or killed.
The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”
Let’s suppose that everything Mr. Kennedy thinks about the climate is true. Why would he want to silence anyone who disagrees with him?
If everything he says is true, surely he has proof. More importantly, surely he has ways to explain/get around the fact that without modern technology 80% of the people in the world would die, due to problems of transportation and growing enough food in enough places. Surely he has ways to convince China. I mean, if his science is that iron clad, they wouldn’t want to die any more than we do? Surely he has ways to convince all the rest of the world, which has nothing to do with the (Libertarian, and for all I know AGW supporting,) Koch brothers or the Republicans.
Unless he thinks the rest of the world hangs suspended from those peoples’ lips? And even a trust-fund-baby celebrity can’t be that stupid.
In other words, if he’s really concerned about AGW, he should be talking to the rest of the world, particularly the emerging nations, not just the US public. To pretend otherwise is a cop out, and a dishonest one.
Instead, the power he wants is the power to kill or imprison – to silence – anyone he disagrees with.
Note that people like me, who think that proponents of AGW demonstrate they don’t believe in it with their lives, don’t wish to stop them talking. On the contrary. The more they parade and berate, and show their allegiance to communist causes, the less credible they are. We want them to keep talking.
This extends all across the pet causes of the left. Feminism? Oh, please, do keep talking about how you want to kill all but 10% of males.
The lack of women and minorities in science fiction? Do keep talking. We have books going back to the fricking fifties that give you the lie and you just expose your crass ignorance.
The War on Women, in the group with the most pampered, indulged women in the world? Please, even some of the kids no longer buy it.
White privilege, which is screamed in the faces of Hispanic and even Black males who disagree with the narrative? Please, oh, insane mind, speak thyself.
However, from their side all we hear is that they want us to shut up and (in sff where they’re soft) “hurry up and die.” Or in the rest of the world “be killed.”
Whence this recoil from opposing opinions, this desire to shut us up?
I have joked in the past that militant Islam with its demands that anyone who says anything about the prophet should be killed betrays a fundamental insecurity. Those of us who truly believe G-d exists don’t believe He needs US to defend His honor.
We figure if He’s really upset, He’ll take care of it in his own good time.
But this effect of having to defend something so much bigger than you that if you’re sure it exists, surely it doesn’t need YOUR efforts to defend it, seems to be an effect of theocracies, where people of not very strong beliefs are afraid of hearing opinions/ideas that contradict what they must believe in to remain in the fold and in the good with the society around them.
Hence, medieval Christianity and most of Islam today.
Hence, the left.
The progressive project that, in various forms, consumed most of the twentieth century, ran out of ideological justification with the fall of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China into… something more approaching Nazi Germany than the Communist Project.
This has taken the certainty from under the followers of the left. The smarter ones, surely, know their ideology is rubbish and there isn’t a working example of a top-down socialist/communist society in the world that is self-sustaining, let alone competes with the US in innovation and creation at any level.
Even the not so smart ones have to have an inkling. They can no longer point to the USSR and tell us if only we knew its wonders we’d convert.
Their leaders are old, their ideas are depleted. They, in the parlance of my kids generation “got nothing.”
So instead of real belief they have the desperate clutching at the appearance of belief and conformity, the appearance of being right.
They’ve done so much for the cause, most of these celebrities and ideologues, that to backtrack now would be unthinkable. They’d have to face themselves in the morning and realize that they supported causes and movements that killed a hundred million people worldwide and held far more in abject squalor.
They can’t do that. Courage was never their strong suit, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone along with the crowd after the fall of the USSR.
So they just want us to “shut up already” and “die” so that in their totalitarian version of reality no little voice shall mar their self image.
They are like MacBeth, trying to silence his conscience. They are in fact
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.”
And our only hope is to keep speaking, to keep making them scan their strange things in head before they come to hand.
Because the other way is unthinkable.
Obama once said (after arresting a film maker for making a movie about Islam, which did not after all spark the murder of our ambassador) that the future must not belong to those who insult Islam.
On the contrary, Mr. President. Insofar as “insult” is questioning and pointing out contradictions and, yes, even joking, the future MUST belong to those who insult Islam, to those who insult Christianity, to those rare souls that bother insulting Hinduism and the other more exotic beliefs, and even to those who insult the Marxist religion of the left yay and verily, even its Global Warming branch.
That is because any belief, religious, scientific, economic, ANY BELIEF that would claim the allegiance of the whole of humanity must be tested and tested and tested. It must be able to withstand jokes and knocks and above all argument.
Remember at one time Aztec human sacrifice and Nazism commanded a large group of believers. This didn’t make them right.
It’s only hypocrites and cowards who demand the silence of others, afraid their own weakness be exposed and they’ll be forced to look at themselves in a true mirror and recoil in fear and error at what they see there.